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Noah’s Ark sold to Grants Pass-based company

September 21, 2018
Noah’s Ark Biblical History Museum in Winston on Friday.

While Noah’s Ark in Winston may have new owners, Noah himself still stands tall, overlooking the many animals at Wildlife Safari.

According to the Douglas County Assessor records, Carl Johnson, of CHI Hospitality in Grants Pass, purchased the 2.5- and 3.84-acre parcels for $825,000 and $200,000. Johnson was unavailable for comment.

Erik Johnson is one of the co-owners for the Wildlife Inn, purchased by CHI Hospitality in January. He was not part of the decision to buy the two pieces of land that make up the property, but he knows the organization won’t be making any immediate changes to the property.

While some Ark projects, like the Creation Museum in Kentucky, are full-size replicas of Noah’s Ark from the Bible, the Winston version contained a bookstore, restaurant and small museum with a porch built out to look like the hull of the Biblical ship.

“It’s a very large building for Douglas County,” Windermere real estate broker Ward Beck said. “They removed all of the exhibits, so it really sold as an empty building. It really was just painting and the way they put the patio on the front of it, but in general, it’s just a very nice, large, well-lit industrial commercial building.”

The Ark was the retirement project for Jerry and Sheryl Thrush who retired the project last year and moved to San Diego. The couple claim on their website to have had the last Christian bookstore in Southern Oregon before they closed up and moved. They kept their virtual tours of Biblical times on the website.

The building is located at 411 Safari Road, Winston.

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